Physical Science

A Treatment for Chemophobia

Guest Blog By Festival X-STEM Speaker and Expo Performer  Dr. Joe Schwarcz “Hey, aren’t you somebody?” the teenager queried as I got into the elevator. While I was pondering an appropriate answer to this deeply philosophical question, his crony spilled the beans: “Yeah, he’s that guy who talks about chemistry on TV.” This was just…

The Christ Child Cometh.

… and by that I mean the El Niño phase of the El Niño Souther Oscillation climate pattern. We have been in an ENSO neutral phase for a while. Climate scientists have a hard time predicting El Niño, which arrives in Summer, Fall, or Winter, this early in the year, but nonetheless most prediction sources,…

Uncertain Dots, Episode 12

The last couple of days have been ridiculously hectic, but Rhett and I did manage to record another episode of Uncertain Dots, our twelfth: This time out, we talk about labs, undergrad research, kids doing chores, weather, student course evaluations, and I didn’t really rant about superheroes. Relevant to the weather thing, I offer the…

The Astro Alphabet (Synopsis)

“When I was having that alphabet soup, I never thought that it would pay off.” -Vanna White A couple of years ago, I had the idea to make a special entry showcasing 26 different astronomical phenomena, one for each letter of the alphabet. Today, that idea’s been built upon and improved, and I’m happy to…

Northrop Grumman Foundation Gives a Unique Look at NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

True to its mission of helping to advance STEM education in dynamic ways, the Northrop Grumman Foundation, a major sponsor of the USA Science & Engineering Festival, will take visitors up close and personal this April with one of the most ambitious projects today in space science: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. At Festival Expo 2014, get…

Superheros are Anti-Science

I’m not really a comic-book guy, but I’ve watched a bunch of comic-book movies recently. Kate was really fired up for the new Captain America movie, so I finally got around to watching the first one as background for that, then when I was sleep-deprived last week I watched the second Thor movie via on-demand…

“All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.” -Victor Hugo During all other full Moons, I wouldn’t dare show you a galaxy for Messier Monday. But when you get…

“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” -Voltaire It’s been another great week over on the main Starts With A Bang blog, where we got to touch on a number of remarkable topics, including: Why are we made of matter? (For Ask Ethan #31) Trompe-l’œil Art (For our Weekend Diversion)…

Hubble Plateaus

In times past we have lovingly tracked the proposal frenzy as the near annual Hubble Space Telescope proposal deadline approaches. As was noted by Julianne several years ago, and confirmed over the last half dozen cycles, the shape of the curve of number of submitted proposals as a function of time until the deadline is…

Visit the National Science Foundation and Friends Pavilion at the Expo!

The National Science Foundation returns to sponsor the USA Science & Engineering Festival and will showcase an incredible group of exhibits at the NSF and Friends Pavilion! Visit the National Science Foundation’s exhibit area to explore tsunami waves, mind control, robots, spiders, cranberry acids, crazy physics experiments and more! Stage performances, a wearable tech fashion show and…